The drive thru space of a fast food restaurant is a very interesting concept. You can now get your food while you are in a rush, but many times you find yourself waiting in a line. Your car is put in a tight space and you are left to navigate it through the turns without any assistance.

  • I find myself turning to these drive-thru’s while I’m in a hurry and need to be somewhere fairly soon. What ends up happening, is people get stuck in ten to fifteen minute line and can’t get out. If I go inside a fast food restaurant, and see that there is a line or the food is taking a while to cook, I can easily leave and continue on my journey. The other night, my friends and I decided to go see a movie; the premier of twilight. Unfortunately we hadn’t had enough time to eat dinner so we decided to go on a run through burger king. We drove into the drive thru path behind someone, and almost immediately, someone pulled up behind us. This was not long before we noticed that the line was not moving and as we took a glance into the window, there was only one person working. On top of this, that one person was on the phone, as you can see in this picture: 


After seeing this through the window, naturally we wanted to leave. We were about to be late for the last showing of the night and we were stuck in this deterministic space where we couldn’t go forward or back up. Nevertheless, we had to deal with this space and wait until we got our food.

  • This wasn’t the end of the frenzy. We drove out of the drive through and when we opened our food, it was cold, hard and old. After all of that time waiting in the drive-thru, we had been given cold and old food and the only way that we would be able to speak with the man working would be to drive thru all over again. Needless to say this space was not built for the easiest access to and from the drive thru in reasonable time.
  • Drive thru’s also take away from the lively aspect of a space. You are essentially driving around the back, hiding from society and driving away from any social space. Having a meal should be a calm part of the day where you refuel and take a break from the stressful parts of life, it shouldn’t add to the stress. If your order is taken wrong, that’s ok, things happen; and if you are inside this makes it easier to calmly walk up to the counter and have your meal replaced for the correct one. Many times there are playgrounds and play areas for the children, which can be a magical place for the parents to sit and eat and not have to worry about them running away in a fenced in area, which can be very convenient and offer a calm place to eat, in contrast to a busy, deterministic drive thru.


This picture, which can be seen by clicking on the link above, shows how a drive thru locks you in and can be a tight less-than lively space. 

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Charlotte International Airport

Last week I waited at the Charlotte International Airport for almost an hour to pick up my grandparents who are visiting from Romania. The process of parking and finding where to go can be the most aggravating and nerve wracking part of the experience. On this particular day, the daily and hourly lots were both closed. The lots are meant to be close to the doors of the airports so that people can be close to their cars when they arrive in Charlotte. We had to drive all the way to the long term parking lot and park and take a bus to the airport. We weren’t quite sure how this was going to work out since both of my grandparents are older and unable to walk longer distances.



From this picture, which you can go to by following this link,, shows that the long term parking lots are the furthest out from the airport. They are staying for five months so we knew that they would have a lot of luggage and that this would be the biggest inconvenience for us.

  • This terminal map shows how organized and easily accessible each of the terminals is. This time around I was aware of the signs posted everywhere and looked to see if I saw one that said arrivals near the actual door. The only one I saw was above the cars as you drive to the building where there are both arrivals and departures. Once we walked in there were no other signs. Luckily for us, we have been in an out of this airport multiple times each year, every year. Had we not been familiar with the architecture we could have missed their arrival and been late to pick them up. If there were signs somewhere in the vicinity, we were not able to see them, so either way they should be either remade or there should be more added into the area; inside and out.

 Image (This link takes you to the map)

  • Once they came out, they already had their luggage, and as we suspected they had about 8 bags total. My parents went to get the cars while we sat and waited. Unfortunately because of how far we had to walk, this took a long time and we had almost lost one of the bags already. I took my grandmother to the restroom, which was clearly marked unlike anything else, and by the time we got back out I only saw a wheel chair and one of their bags sitting alone; I had already lost my grandfather. Luckily no one had taken the chair back with our bag attached.
  • As though the experience had not already felt like a circus, by the time my grandparents walked out to the car, a police officer had approached my mother and tried to give us a ticket for being so close to the door where only busses were allowed to unload. I think the Charlotte Airport should rethink this layout as my grandparents would not have been able to walk all the way down to the appropriate loading and unloading zone.
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Hooters is a sports bar, a restaurant, and the place to be for birthdays of all ages. I’ve been working in this place for almost 8 months now and the space can make you feel very different depending on the day. First of all the architecture and the hostesses both make it feel probabilistic. You know that you’ll have to sit down either in a booth, high or low chair, or bar stool, but they always tell you that you can sit wherever you like. This gives people a sense of freedom when they first walk in, and they don’t feel restricted.

  •  Depending on the day or even that may be taking place; the space will have a completely different feel to it. On a night where there may be a big fight on HBO, there may be a line out the door with an hour waiting list. On these nights the space feels the liveliest and everyone sits together, cheers together, and feels at home. These nights are so crazy though, that the safety of everyone can be compromised. During the last boxing match, there was one security guard amongst hundreds of people sitting and eating almost on top of each other. Usually they would have two to three security guards to ensure the safety of the people and the girls working.
  •  These exciting events contrast with a regular Sunday completely. The next Sunday right after a boxing Saturday can look almost as though the restaurant had been closed all day. Last Sunday, I was able to turn around the feel of the place in my section. I made sure everyone had their drinks and plates refilled at all times and had good conversation. If I had been slow with my service, or hadn’t kept the television on the channels they wanted, they may have felt like leaving within 20 minutes of being there. I asked a gentleman named Danny to tell me how the restaurant made him feel:



“Well I think the food is good, the beer is always cold and the women are beautiful.”

  • Even on a quiet night with only a few visitors, this space can still make people feel welcome. This keeps the business sustainable and growing with each generation and expanding beyond the United States. This particular restaurant is in Uptown Charlotte and this link takes you to their home site where you can view the menu, watch videos, and find the restaurant closes to you. While looking at the menu, you should also be conscious of how healthy or unhealthy the food may be. Overall, the food is particularly unhealthy. Most of the wings and sides are fried; even the pickles. I recently learned that you can get any wings, chicken strips, and/or chicken sandwiches grilled upon request. This should definitely be mentioned somewhere on the menu for those who want to enjoy the cold beer and boxing match showings, while trying not to ruin their diet. 
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There are over 7,000 Walgreens’ all over the United States in all of the 50 states. We see one at almost every stoplight on every corner. They all look much like this one, almost like a friendly familiar face.Image

But, why is it that every time I walk in, I’m more confused than when I walk into a Wal-mart jumbo supercenter? I feel as though there are a few issues with the layout of each store. ( this link takes you to the photo above).

  •  Number one, they try to put many of the sales, new, or hot-selling items all in the front of the store. It confuses me when I’m trying to figure out what direction to go in. When I’m looking for the pharmacy, all I see are “as seen on TV” items and the photo center on one of the sides. The one thing that I don’t see, that I need, is a sign telling me which way to go to get to the pharmacy. Luckily, for some of the stores, I had been there multiple times in the past. Unfortunately, I can never seem to make it to the back in time before the pharmacy closes. I always find myself lost in the world of new nail polishes and buy one get one half off foundations. To the left there is usually every different kind of brand of make-up and to the right you may find different lotions and razors and shampoos and hair brushes. Straight ahead, if you make it through all of the items, you can see a light at the end of the tunnel and make it to pick up your prescription.
  •  The next aisle over could be anything from car deodorant to pretzels and hair strengtheners.  I think they may have trouble organizing the aisles while trying to keep things interesting and up to date. If there is a hot new car cleaning liquid, they want it to be seen but not in random spot. For the most part, the aisles tend to stay the same, so finding the perfect promotion plate can be difficult. 



If you look closely in this picture, you can see picture frames and perfumes right next to each other.  ( this link takes you to the photo above).

  •  I feel that the architecture within Walgreens is possibilistic. The aisles don’t lead you to any path way and don’t make you go in a specific direction. Personally they don’t make any sense to me, so I tend to find myself possibly spending hours just trying to find what I need or what I may need later. Wal-Mart supercenter to me is easier to navigate because of the big signs at the top and the way the architecture is laid out. When you go through the big area in the middle with the clothes, no matter which side you come out on you’ll either run into shoes, clothes hampers, or clothes hangers. Everything tends to lead into each other. In a place as big as that, the promotional items can be put in the front of their respective area instead of being all piled together in the front of Walgreens.

Walgreens may want to rethink their layout if they want people to continue to turn to the mini version of Wal-Mart.


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Suburbia This shows a more simple neighborhood with a more simple pattern. Tight knit, but navigable. 

Image  This shows a more complex pattern of Suburbia that seems as though it was built for profit and efficiency: as many homes as possible in a particular amount of space.

The space in suburbia can have a negative or a positive feeling depending on how you look at it and how it makes you feel. It can be considered an acquired taste and definitely has its benefits.

  • In terms of safety, suburbia tends to be known as a safer place to live and walk around at night. It’s not usually in the middle of a busy city or urban area and tends to be around shopping areas, wal-marts, and pharmacies. It’s usually placed in areas that make you feel like you are leaving the busy city life and going home to get away from all of the hectic issues. The placement of the homes, as seen in both of the pictures included, are usually in a close continuous pattern. Average neighborhoods for middle-class families are built fairly close together. Neighbors can always see what’s going on at all times around everyone’s home. This could be good or bad, debatable. For the sake of my current argument, it’s a positive. Many times these suburban neighborhoods have community watch groups composed of a few of the people in the neighborhood. The tight knit pattern of the houses keeps everyone at a close range from each other making their job easier and safer. The other side of the argument, which would go against the closeness of the homes, could include issues with stalking, noise disturbances, and being uncomfortable.  
  •    The liveliness of Suburbia can depend on the people that it’s made up of. My neighborhood in particular, always has cul-de-sac get-togethers and Sunday fun days. The children all play together and the dogs all run around and play. Even if you’re sitting inside the house with the window open, the sound of everyone’s laughter and every dogs bark can make life feel serene and make you feel more at home. Most of the homes also partake in every holiday and change their decorations in respect to the current holiday. Christmas turns into the North Pole with beautiful lights, reindeer and multiple Santa’s to light up the night. Coming home to season’s greetings, cookouts and parties make life in suburbia worthwhile. It is definitely a different “kind” of liveliness; it’s not the young crowd going from bar to bar until the morning hours drinking and dancing. It is a slower lifestyle and all of suburbia can feel like a safe home or comfort zone. As a young college student, I enjoy both worlds. The city life is fun, but especially for the holidays, there’s no place like home, in Suburbia.
  • The health of each suburban neighborhood depends on the location. There’s always the possibility that the nearby streams are polluted, a power plant nearby, or even electric towers can cause health problems. Unfortunately these situations are common and cause many birth defects and health issues for those residing in these neighborhoods. This link takes you to my neighborhoods website, where you can learn more about the location of my dream winter land and the community,, which is complete with a map of the surrounding area; so you can be informed of the safety, health, and liveliness of this Suburbia. 
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This link takes you to this image,r:12,s:0,i:189&tx=60&ty=122

I have been to Carowinds countless times within the last 20 years of my life; my first time being when I was about 9 years old. I can honestly say that I know where nothing is except for the front entrance, which can be difficult to find as well. Below is a map of the theme park from December 25th, 2010 and just one glance makes me dizzy and reminds me of the pain in my feet that comes with every visit. This link can take you to the map

Image,r:44,s:0,i:289. I have no experience in designing a theme park so I’m not quite sure how to rearrange the park to be less confusing, but I can point out a few of the issues I have noticed over the years. 

  1. One of the most important aspects of a city is safety. Carowinds is like a small city, covering 391 acres. I remember being absolutely frightened after making one wrong turn and losing my family. Even two years ago, losing one of my best friends, with no phone, and no ride, was just as frightening as it was at 9 years old. Finding a restroom, security area, or any security guard was always difficult. The signs were never very clear or visible enough for everyone to find their way safely.
  2.  The architecture used in Carowinds does not provide enough limits, and may be too possibalistic. Not everyone would find this appealing, but a way to reorganize the park would be to create a path that leads from the beginning to the end. Currently, when you walk in, you can walk straight, left, right, into a gift shop, towards a food area etc. I can remember many times going for a particular ride, and getting lost and running around so many times that we unfortunately never made it to the original destination. They do have maps and brochures that are meant to be helpful. Unfortunately, over 391 acres, no map has been able assist us in our journey to Top Gun, or Cinnabon.
  3. There should also be a new plan implemented to help with the crazy lines that can currently last anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours. Currently, customers line up one behind the other in spiraling lines hoping to ride more than one ride in one trip. One solution that could be implemented, is the use of a digital timer that shows about how long each line is lasting. A long line at other rides could take longer than others, with a timer it would be easier to tell which one you should go to first. Families, kids, and friends can create a schedule and plan their day and hopefully be one step closer to getting to every ride that they have planned for their day. The environment should be exciting and have a positive result; it shouldn’t be stressful and worrisome, it takes away from the experience and does not use the space to its full advantage. If you’d like to take a trip to Carowinds yourself to see how the space makes you feel, go to this website and buy a ticket 🙂


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Charlotte: Our City



(Rights to photo unknown)

Charlotte’s growing city, I would say has all four aspects that people want in a city: Liveliness, Safety, Health, and Sustainability.

  • The liveliness of the city is never in question. The uptown of Charlotte is constantly filled with adventures, events, dancing and food. The EpiCentre, for example, has a combination of restaurants, fast food dining areas, dance clubs, bars, bowling alleys, even movie theaters that serve alcohol in the movie. As if this isn’t exciting enough, it includes your local CVS pharmacy, AT&T for your mobile needs, shopping boutiques, and of course smoothie king and the famous Fro-Yo kingdom, Yoforia.

Because this area is in the heart of uptown, they want to make sure that anyone and everyone is able to use some form of transportation to get there, whether it be by car, bus, or light rail. To make sure it is safe fun for everyone, at some of the night clubs inside, there are days when only 21 and up are allowed. There are also “college nights” when 18 and up are welcome. On these nights more police officers are also present to make sure there is no underage drinking happening and that everyone is having a safe and fun night.  To get to the EpiCentre on any day, the light rail runs from 5:38 am until 12:53 am every night and this link takes you to the light rail website, which has information on how to ride and how to pay and all of the stops and locations, along with parking options.

Charlotte Trolley
(704) 375-0850

Charlotte Area Transit System
(CATS) Bus Service
(704) 336-RIDE

These websites are also included in the informational portion of the EpiCentre website, to help with further transportation options. This is the official EpiCentre website that includes all of this information along with complete descriptions on every store, restaurant, and entertainment area included in this centre. It also is equipped with a complete gallery of pictures taken throughout the year there. 



For example this is a photo taken from the website from the DNC at the EpiCentre.

  • As far as health in the Queen city, there 5 major public hospitals on every side of town, along with many private clinics and Urgent Cares available to anyone. This link takes you to the yellow pages with names, phone numbers, and directions to every Carolina Medical Center, specialty hospitals, women’s centers, Doctor’s offices, Planned Parenthoods, etc.  In addition, sidewalks are built in every neighborhood, on most major streets with bike lanes accompanying them, encouraging active and healthy lifestyles.
  • The sustainability of Charlotte is growing daily as the city expands further and further. The population estimate in July of 2011 was 751,087, according to Google’s public data record. This was a 35% increase from 2000. Businesses are constantly being built; neighborhoods and buildings renovated, and schools are bettering every day, making Charlotte a great city for people to continue to raise their families from generation to generation.


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China King Super Buffet of Charlotte




What people want in a city includes: liveliness, safety, sustainability, and health. These things should be applied to buildings, stores, restaurants etc in a city as well. This particular restaurant, China King Super Buffet on Tyvola Rd. in Charlotte, NC, was missing every one of these aspects.

  •   The overall liveliness of this restaurant, I would say, is a 2.4 out of 10. The pictures above show the outside view and how old the building and parking lot look. The colors have started to fade and the concrete is cracked throughout the lot. As soon as you walk in the door, whether it is day time or night time, it is darker inside than outside. Some restaurants want to give you a more intimate setting so they dim the lights, these lights are almost turned off and simply take away from any liveliness that it may have had the potential for.

Desert was included in the $10 buffet price. Unfortunately the catch was that you had to sit and stay inside while eating the desert, until you finished, and not a moment sooner. The choices were vanilla and chocolate ice cream, or an ice cream sandwich. Throughout the dinner, we were trying to convince ourselves that every bite was not repulsive, and trying to get rid of the grumbling sounds after having waited too long to eat; after that experience, any kind of ice cream sounded like a dream come true. If we hadn’t already decided that we were never coming back by then, the fact that we had to sit in a booth like children, until our ice cream was finished was the cherry on top of that final decision.

  •  As far as health and safety, having a bottle of Pepto-Bismol right next to the check out cash register may not be the most encouraging. The cleanliness of the floors, tables, and food area should’ve been an immediate giveaway, but when looking for the cheapest Chinese buffet last minute, without having eaten, we may have overlooked these things until dinner was over. When we received our silverware and plates, and tasted just part of the chicken that was available on the buffet line, we began to think about our drinks. I always drink water in general, but I was worried about the glasses and the sink. We ordered bottled water instead. This shouldn’t have to be a concern at any dining facility.

Like any other Chinese restaurant in Charlotte, they had candy dispensers for the children. The dispensers looked older than the building. This should have been an indication that it was time for them to be thrown out and burned.

  • As far as Sustainability, and the restaurant building upon itself from generation to generation, I am almost positive that this restaurant is on its last leg. It may be the cheapest one of its kind, but cheap and deadly is not the best combination. There was one down the street that was $18 for the buffet. For some large families with growing children that are hungry in that moment, they may benefit from the China King Buffet; until they notice this long list of obvious issues.


The link above the text includes the pictures, coupons for the lovely restaurant, and other nearby restaurants you may want to consider attending instead. 

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My Bedroom: Bad Feng Shui, Good for Me



This is my personal space in my new house with my roommates. I moved in earlier this year and this was the way I first positioned my bed. To the right are a desk and another dresser. I didn’t include that part of the room because I don’t care for it.

  1. I’ve noticed that the part of my space that affects me the most is the position of my bed. Looking back to what the theory of Feng Shui, The bed is facing the door, letting all opportunities and money come in towards me. Although it does not follow the rules of being centered and not against a wall. I may not like the way the desk is facing and consciously left it out, because the chair faces the window, and my back faces the door; blocking opportunities from coming in. Unfortunately, because of the position of the door and the closet, and the shape of the room, there really isn’t any way for me to place a long desk facing the door.
  2. The corner that my bed is in makes this space feel safe to me. When I lay down I feel the need to be up against something. For a couple of months, I followed a friends’ advice and moved my bed counterclockwise 90 degrees. So it was facing the right wall instead of the door and it was in the middle of the room. The size of the room, visually, immediately decreased but now the room was centered. If I were trying to follow a pattern, and follow the theories of Feng Shui throughout my entire room, then that would have been the best position for my bed and furniture. For some reason, it just wasn’t what worked best for me. A few days ago, I moved it back to exactly what is seen in my photos above. I think any theories about space, depend on the person. The kind of space that a person is comfortable in depends on their history, their personality, and what they are most comfortable with. I personally loved how moving the bed towards the wall, gave me a lot more space to move around in. Now, I can work out in this space as well.
  3. The amount of space available in a room also makes a difference as to how the furniture should be placed to maximize the comfort and feel of the space. In a much larger room, centering the bed and the furniture may feel more comfortable and look better at the same time. All of these aspects have to be taken into consideration, and one must be careful when trying to follow a theory, such as Feng Shui and try to be as open minded and aware of other factors as possible.

For me, this is the best position for my furniture when I take into account my personality, my comfort zone (my bed), my need for space, my rooms size, and the position of my doors. Walking into such a small room, with one big bed in the middle of it, made it feel like I was walking into a trap. Closing the door behind me, felt like the trap was being closed; locking me in.

This link takes you to a very helpful website that has Feng Shui tips on how to set up different bedrooms with different limiting factors. 


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Casino Night


Casino night transformed a regular part of our campus, Diana Courtyard, into a red carpet event! Taking a look at this tent from the inside, you would never guess that this was the way to class, and the community cafeteria.

  • Walking up to the tent, we had no idea what it was going to look like. After getting my ticket punched, I walked in and saw a beautiful fountain with lights. I had never seen the true beauty of our Diana fountain until this night. The food was placed beautifully along the fountain and it was more of a probabilistic environment. The whole outside area was filled with food and drinks and desert. You could stand around and talk with your friends, but if you were hungry, you had to get in line around the tables. There wasn’t a specific way that the line went and you could start on either side of the table. You could even start at the desert table if you were daring enough.
  • The natural flow of the night, and the tent, took you around to the photo booth after you were done eating. The photo booth was placed by the entrance into the casino (dining hall), and past the food and drink tables. The booth closed at midnight, earlier than any other part of the event. So it was obvious that the placement of the booth was well thought out and had the intention of grabbing everyone’s attention before they got caught up in the casino. This area was probabilistic, and more towards deterministic. It depends on what you wanted to do with your night. If you came in, knowing you wanted your photo booth pictures; it was determined by the space and time that you had to go through the booth before continuing into the dining hall for the casino games.
  • After we were done taking our pictures, we walked through the tunnel and emerged in the dining hall that had now become our very own casino. It looked like Las Vegas, from the dresses to the tuxedos, and the craps, to the poker. Straight past all of the tables, used to eat, play and rest, was the dance floor. I think that this part of our space was the most possibilistic. Essentially, you could use the tables for anything. You could take the food from the tent, and bring it inside to sit and have a meal. Some people used the tables to play many of the casino games that were offered. Others used the tables as a rest stop between their favorite songs. Many of the girls used whichever seats were available around any tables, occupied or not, to sit and rid their feet of at least ten minutes of the pain and agony from their beautiful shoes.

The dance floor however, that was deterministic. If you were on the dance floor, you were ready to dance. You were ready to jump, and scream, and sweat and dance, and use this space to its full potential.


This link takes you to the Queens University website and has a brief description of Casino night, along with other campus traditions that are held throughout the year.

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